M51 lies approximately 25 million light-years from Earth in the Constellation Canes Venatici. The whirlpool effect is caused by gravitational interaction with the dwarf galaxy NGC 5194. The gravitational interaction causes faint tidal streamers extending from both galaxies, as can be seen in this image.
Telescope/Mount: Celestron Compustar14 (f/11).
Camera: SBIG STL 11000 CCD camera with Baader Planetarium L,R,G,B filters.
Other equipment: SBIG AO-L adapative optics at 4.5 Hz.
Location: Pommier Observatory, Portland, OR, USA
Dates: 2014-06-02 through 2014-06-20
Exposures: L:R:G:B =410:130:130:130 = 13 hours 20 minutes total exposure.
See additional astrophotographs at www.rodpommier.com